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My Mk3 GS430 Daily Driver Build


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Hi All,

It’s been a while since I bought my GS (Oct 19!!!) and I’ve been a top lurker since then 😌, but my intention was always to tweak it a bit, when I finally got ‘round to it, as I’ve been unable to not tinker with any car I’ve bought, ever! This one was going to be no different and this build thread is the result.

So, to the car, a 2006 Mark 3 GS430, with a Black exterior and Grey/Black interior. I spent a long time looking for exactly that colour combination and still love it!  Pics below…

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As I do a high (ish) mileage, there was no way I could afford a V8 running on normal Petrol, and I never planned to, as it was always on the cards to LPG convert it. This was completed straight after purchase and I now have it running fine, although I had to sort out a few issues first (not with the LPG per se – it’s just very sensitive to existing issues in the car).

Over the last year, not helped by COVID-19, I’ve worked through the little issues, which I wanted to get done before posting on here, which including giving it a much needed clean first off:

Interior Leather:

IMG_0586

 

Mats:

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… although cleaning the exterior just highlighted that the paintwork needs a full detail, which I’ll get cracked when the weather gets better in Summer, hopefully:

Swirled Paintwork:

IMG_1141

However, before I could get stuck into the proper mechanical stuff, there was a slight mechanical hiccup in Aug last year that put things on hold, which I’ll expand on soon (I’m still editing the video on that one), teaser here:

Heads:

IMG_2934

 

So, I’ll stick up a link up to the video when ready. It’ll be in three parts – which gives an idea how much of an epic it all was (!), but hopefully all will become clear! 

Now that the car’s back on the road after five months, I’m going to be working through all the little things that I hadn’t had time to do before, so will be sticking all the updates in here. I’ve already managed to get a few little jobs done, starting with refurbing a set of these:

Calipers:

Calipers-After

The plan (Small ‘p’). 

As there’s not a massive amount of performance upgrades for the Mk3 GS (please don’t mention superchargers… 🤐) my focus was going to be getting it cosmetically spot on and making a lot of improvements to the ride and handling, without compromising comfort (one of the key attractions of the car to me). This will be focused on Suspension (coil-overs, sub-frame, bushes, anti-roll bars) and Chassis (bracing front and rear) plus whatever else may come along.

As I’ve alluded to, my intention is to document the work through a small (capital ‘s’) You Tube channel I have, which I’ve been doing as an interest thing for just over half a year. Still very much learning as I go, but I’ve found it really fun to do and a bit of a challenge to try and get things that look and sound decent. Very much not there yet, but practice makes…  so criticism will be more than welcome!

More to follow soon! 😊

ETA: A flipping link to the Channel wouldn't have gone amiss I suppose!! - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKsjaW4uQpjLO6zKekj6wiw  Enjoy, hopefully!!

 

Edited by Mike_Mac
Photos Work now and link to channel - Yay!!
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Well, as promised, see below a link to my first video on the (about to be) four-month epic that my initial plan to replace valve cover gaskets and spark plug seals turned into... 

 

It's still processing but should be live soon, so I hope you enjoy it (let me know if not :smile: ) As said, this is just a hobby and done because I enjoy it, not because I'm good at it!

Parts two and three will be dropped on successive Fridays, as I finish sorting them out.

 

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What a brilliant video, and what a brave man you are, I think I may have driven it over the quayside by now!  Looking forward to the next one.

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36 minutes ago, The-Acre said:

What a brilliant video, and what a brave man you are, I think I may have driven it over the quayside by now!  Looking forward to the next one.

Thanks! 😀

Trust me, after 4 months of it (you’ll see why!)  I came close to a Basil Fawltey moment many times!😉

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Episode 2 of the GS430 saga has just dropped and, just like and middle segment of a trilogy, this is where things suddenly go wrong...  🙂

As a hint, you should not see daylight through there...

50935415587_f875c3c9d9_z.jpg

Video here, Enjoy! (I didn't... 😞 ):

 

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Well the last installment of the my engine troubles has been completed! Luckily it's now working (albeit there's still a few little jobs to do, which will be covered in subsequent videos). Unfortunately, there's not too much footage of the actual removal and strip-down of the heads, as I was a little bit annoyed at that point and filming wasn't on my mind!

However, if anyone ever has to contemplate doing this themselves, or wants to pick my brains, then please feel free to drop me a message, as there's a lot of little Gotchas that aren't even in the Workshop Manual! If I had to do it again, I'd be fairly sanguine about it, but doing it for the first time was definitely 'interesting'.

Hope you enjoy, video is here:

 

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Next Installment - After almost half a year off the road, it's time for a review of the car and what I plan to do with it...

 

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Excellent, really enjoyed that. The GS430 is a car overlooked by many and it's a real gem. I had one for a short while a few years ago and the previous generation model for a number of years before. 

Just as you said in the vid, not the easiest to modify for additional thrills but very rewarding to drive once you get in tune with the chassis.

I haven't checked but does an ISF rear anti-roll bar fit the GS? That's what I have on the back of the SC and it really made a difference in controlling the rate of lean.

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2 hours ago, Neil E said:

I haven't checked but does an ISF rear anti-roll bar fit the GS? That's what I have on the back of the SC and it really made a difference in controlling the rate of lean.

Thanks Neil - I may come across as moaning about it, but I do that for every car 😄 - there’s a lot of potential in there...

Ref ISF bar, I’m not sure - I know a lot of the chassis is similar, but IIRC when I checked part numbers they were different - but that was the regular IS - will look into it, thanks.

The F-Sport bars fit, though, so I’ll plan to use them most likely.

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I think you're entitled to moan a bit with the bad luck on the engine Mike, great job on sorting it. I would say your comments and assessments seem pretty well balanced and fair. Yes plenty of potential and I feel you know where you want to take it before setting out which is always a good thing. I said I wouldn't do headers as they are too expensive and difficult to do and then later took it on. Have you found anyone who claims to have fully tuned the 3UZ with a blower? 

I have a shiny blue aftermarket IS  F-sport rear ARB in the garage that I couldn't fit around the rear centre bracing support on the SC without a little extra modification so went with the ISF bar and drop links. When I get chance I will offer it up to the GS and let you know. Someone on clublexus will have the answer, I will do some research as the 460 does seem to have some unwanted extra rear sway. Oddly it's more noticeable at low speed. 

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2 hours ago, Neil E said:

I think you're entitled to moan a bit with the bad luck on the engine Mike, great job on sorting it. I would say your comments and assessments seem pretty well balanced and fair. Yes plenty of potential and I feel you know where you want to take it before setting out which is always a good thing. I said I wouldn't do headers as they are too expensive and difficult to do and then later took it on. Have you found anyone who claims to have fully tuned the 3UZ with a blower? 

I have a shiny blue aftermarket IS  F-sport rear ARB in the garage that I couldn't fit around the rear centre bracing support on the SC without a little extra modification so went with the ISF bar and drop links. When I get chance I will offer it up to the GS and let you know. Someone on clublexus will have the answer, I will do some research as the 460 does seem to have some unwanted extra rear sway. Oddly it's more noticeable at low speed. 

Thanks - I know where I want to take it, but it'll take a while to get there - with three projects on the go it's a constant stretch!!

Interested in how you sourced headers, though - aftermarket or custom? 

Ref GS with a blower - aside from the Tom's kit, which is super rare and stupid expensive, there's two I'm aware of - MrBattlelac (search it on YouTube) did his own and Speed Academy (again YouTube) is currently working on an LS430, with a blower and are well worth a watch).

Ref the ISF bar - interested in how you get on... Ref the extra rear sway, that may be because the coil-overs are not having to react as quickly, so are allowing more of the force to come through (if that makes sense) - I assume the GS's springs are progressive - the sway bars are therefore having to work slightly in isolation, with less assistance from the springs and therefore their lack of 'rate' shows up more.

Hope that makes sense?

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The headers were from PPE Engineering in the US. Near side header fabricated and they also shipped the components for the offside header to be fabricated in the UK to avoid the steering column knuckle. There's some info in the SC project thread and a whole lot more elsewhere....only go there when you're having trouble sleeping.🙂 Headers and custom exhaust could be £3-4k. It was an adventure I would only recommend to someone utterly obsessed with needing more power....and I'm not, it just needed to be done.🙃 If you change your mind, I can help with info on headers and a course of counselling.

Ah yes, I'm subscribed to the Canadian Speed Academy channel and watching their progress with interest, haven't seen it on the dyno yet. I'll take a look at the other one.

I do get your theory on the suspension, that could be it. When I bought the GS460 recently I factored in needing new rear struts as a minimum though was pleasantly surprised at how well the originals (if they are) smoothed out the road. The rear struts were so obviously shot on the last GS430 it was a quick an easy fix.

I did smile at your car journey on you-tube as you went by the airport to the A30, it all suddenly looked spookily familiar. I stayed in the hotel there on Wednesday.   

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Ah! I know PPE but didn’t realise you could get their stuff un-assembled - I’ll read through the SC430 thread, thanks! 🙂

If I ever have to take the engine out again I’d consider it, and would definitely give you a shout, but just now it’ll probably just be a back-box - the 3-4K would be better spent on the Mustang which will be coming back from body and paint tomorrow ironically.

Ref Exeter Airport stay - I’m assuming you flew in, or were you in the 460?

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1 hour ago, Mike_Mac said:

Ah! I know PPE but didn’t realise you could get their stuff un-assembled - I’ll read through the SC430 thread, thanks! 🙂

If I ever have to take the engine out again I’d consider it, and would definitely give you a shout, but just now it’ll probably just be a back-box - the 3-4K would be better spent on the Mustang which will be coming back from body and paint tomorrow ironically.

Ref Exeter Airport stay - I’m assuming you flew in, or were you in the 460?

GS430, Mustang and XKR, that's quite a collection. 'Flew' into Exeter by RX300 for a couple of days and just used the airport hotel. 

PPE have been very helpful. When I asked them about rhd headers for the SC430 they suggested sending one side complete and the components + sufficient pipes with mandrel bends to make a 'near' mirror image of the header for the offside. I must be mad but they are doing the same for the 1UR in the GS460.

 

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That’s ‘interesting’ to know... 😉

As said, it’s meant to be a daily driver, but I know what I’m like - may well look at it in the future! Not like there’s going to be cars like these soon anymore, so may as well enjoy them!

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One of the things that really bugged me with the GS was badly yellowed headlights - so while the bumper was off during the engine rebuild, I sanded, polished and ceramic coated them and the fog-lights - big difference!!

 

 

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